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For Missoula Music Lovers

Missoula music lovers often visit four popular local performance venues.  The Missoula, Montana music scene is thriving!  The Wilma has anchored the Missoula cultural and entertainment aspect for almost 100 years.  Constructed in 1921 as a vaudeville house, The Wilma has been utilized as a movie house for the majority of its history. In the 1980s, The Wilma began to once again host live entertainment.

In March of 2015, The Wilma was acquired by new ownership. The new owners, Nick and Robin Chehota, immediately commenced work on a major renovation and restoration of the historic theater, investing in entirely new infrastructure, renovated stage, modern catering operation, first class entertainer accommodations and one of the best sound systems in the Western United States. As a result of the remodel, The Wilma has become a state of the art facility within a spectacular historic building.

Where possible, Checota left some of the key elements original to the Wilma, including the massive Art Deco chandeliers hanging above the balcony. An artist also touched up the ornate French murals lining the walls, and many of the trimmings have been repainted in a gold-gray color palette that’s characteristic of early 20th century theaters, Checota says.

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The Wilma theater’s main room has been redone with a gray-gold color scheme, wooden tiered flooring and a raised stage.

 

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The vintage Art Deco-style light fixtures are some of the remaining elements original to the 94-year-old theater. Both photos courtesy the Missoula Independent.

The new owner is particularly proud of the improvements that most visitors to the Wilma might not be able to see but will certainly hear, including a new sound system and acoustic enhancements. Sound-absorption panels are hidden in the walls to help reduce echoes, which were a relic of the pre-amplified days when theaters were designed to throw actors’ voices as far as possible.

“It’s going to be cool, it’s going to attract bands,” Checota says in an interview with Kattie Whittle from Missoula Independent. “There’s a buzz already. I hear from agents, people are talking about what we’re doing.”

The Wilma hosts a free sneak peak event with music from Lil’ Smokies and The Whizpops! on Friday, Oct. 2, followed by its sold-out grand reopening with My Morning Jacket on Oct. 5.

Missoula-Music-LoversThe owners of the Wilma also own the Top Hat Lounge, a 550 capacity room, one block from The Wilma.  This longtime watering hole turned Missoula concert mecca is a great place to find awesome music.  With state of the art sound and stage equipment, patrons can find food, drinks, and even a dance floor to help them enjoy a variety of shows.  It is a downtown hot spot where many local bands often play. 

 

 

Missoula-Music-LoversBig Sky Brewing has long been considered a perfect combination of beer and music.  This outdoor ampitheater hosts everyone from Michael Franti to The Decemberists.  They often give the proceeds of concert beer sales to local Missoula charities.  Their 2015 Summertime Concert series was a big success. 

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Last, but certainly not least, is the Adams Center located on the University of Montana‘s campus right here in Missoula.  Famous performers like Miranda Lambert and Paul McCartney have performed here.  This is the perfect place to enjoy big names with thousands of your closest friends!  Friday Oct. 9, the Adams Center hosts the Newsboys starting at 7 pm.
Hosts Elaine and Brady Anderson-West welcome you to Missoula and their B&B guests experience scenic mountain views at their Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast.  Their peaceful property borders the Bitterroot River and is next to the Lewis and Clark walking trail.  Music lovers have a variety of performance venues when they visit Missoula.

Missoula Disc Golf Courses

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Picture from traditional golf course Canyon River Golf Club in Missoula, Montana.

Missoula disc golf courses (also known as “folf” or “frisbee golf”) are a fitness friendly way to leisurely enjoy the great outdoors.  Missoula has several disc golf courses scattered throughout town. If you are a beginner, you are in a perfect place to learn. Local Missoula “folfers” are welcoming and helpful; often letting you play through their slower moving and larger groups.

Disc golf is similar to regular golf; however, instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, Disc Golf players use golf discs and aim for a Disc Pole Hole, a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands. The object of the game is to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws, starting from a tee area and finishing at the Disc Pole Hole.

Generally, a course is 9 or 18 Disc Pole Holes long. Players start at hole one and complete the course in order, playing through to the last hole. The player with lowest total cumulative score wins.

Disc Golf differs from traditional Golf in important ways. Disc golf courses can use a wide variety of terrain. Often times, land not suitable for other park activities or development is perfect terrain for a disc golf course.

Disc golf is one of the best lifetime fitness sports. It is easy to learn, a healthy activity and accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. If you can throw a Frisbee® and you like to have fun, you can play disc golf.

Today there are over 2,500 Disc Golf Courses in the United States. There are between 7,000,000 and 10,000,000 people who have played the game. Since 1976, there have been over 24,000 members of the Professional Disc Golf Association.

Pro players compete in more than 390 sanctioned tournaments and a Worlds Championship annually. The positive experience with Disc Golf and the growing demand for courses have led to the expansion of the sport all over the country, from small towns to urban areas.

There are four areas in Missoula, Montana where disc golf (folf) is played.  All four Missoula folf areas offer 18 holes.  Destination Missoula provided the course maps.

Blue Mountain is the hiker’s course. This area spreads across a large expanse on the face of Blue Mountain located just south of Missoula. The first half of the course is mostly open with occasional tree obstacles that can block the view of the basket, followed by the second half of the course which dives down into the wooded ravines of Blue Mountain.

The second half can require a skilled hand at tree-dodging; though the fairways themselves are fairly clear if you can keep from playing in the rough. Overall, a “big-arm” course that requires plenty of long shots.  Course map.

Pattee Canyon is a technical course set in the Pattee Canyon recreation area that will find the player in amongst the trees after the first few holes. Often over-crowded after the 5:00pm work hour has been reached, this course is likely the most popular course in the valley and around Missoula with a waiting line gathering at the first hole.

This crowd, however, is no reason to skip this course as it provides a great challenge for folf players of all skill levels.  Course map.

Linda Vista Golf Course gives you the chance to run a game of disc golf on a traditional golf course. Linda Vista folf course operates during the off-season when the course isn’t being used for regular golf. For more information visit their website or give them a call at 406-251-3655.

When you use the Snow Bowl Ski Area, take the lift ride to the top! Seriously, you get a view before you start playing, and during the course of play you are awarded plenty of views of the Missoula Valley when teeing down the 1,100+ ft. hole that plays down a ski run. The added bonus of this course is that it boasts a restaurant and bar at the base of the lift near the parking lot.

Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast offers scenic mountain views and superbly delicious cuisine with complimentary fresh breakfasts each morning.  Consider staying with us when you go on your next Missoula disc golf course adventure!

Written by Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging

The Missoula Insectarium

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The Missoula Insectarium first opened its doors to the public on June 25, 2015.  It is located in downtown Missoula at 218 E. Front Street on the second floor.  It costs $4 for guests (ages 4 and older) to take a tour.  They are open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 am to 5 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.  You can contact them at 406-317-1211.

Reporter Lindsay Brawner,  from ABC Fox Montana Local News, interviewed The Missoula Insectarium Founder and Director Jen Marangelo (see the video below).  The Director said they would like for people to gain a better appreciation for the vital role that insects play.  Their goal is to educate the public about the fascinating lives of these important creatures through exhibits and educational programs in a family friendly environment.

Wonder how they get their insects?  Many insects come from ordering them online or by trading with other insectariums.  Other insectariums in the United States include:

  • The Audobon Insectarium in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • The Bayer Crop Science Insectarium found inside the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina
  • The Insectarium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • The Insect Zoo found at the SanFrancisco Zoo in California
  • The Monsanto Insectarium at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri

The Missoula Insectarium is here for the community, both adults and kids, as well as here as a tourist destination.  Insectarian Educational Director Carolyn Wiley runs the classroom aspect.  She often witnesses the transformation of students who are initially reluctant to touch the insects who leave as fans.  The Missoula Insectarium will  provide programs and field trips for school groups, homeschoolers, and other organized groups.

Butterfly houses and insect zoos have proven to be enormously popular with the public wherever they appear and are used to generate increased visitation and revenue for many zoos, museums and other non-profit organizations. Director Jen Marangelo’s next dream is to create a greenhouse filled with butterflies that is large enough for people to walk through and see them.  They will receive captive-bred butterflies (actually the chrysalides) from breeders around the world (primarily Central and South America).

In June of 2010 the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium completed a custom-designed business feasibility study to determine if their vision for an insect education facility in Missoula, MT could be viable. Guided by the positive results of the feasibility analysis, their vision for this facility includes:

  • A 2,000 square foot tropical butterfly house
  • A viewing area to watch the final stage of metamorphosis and see adult butterflies emerge from their chrysalides
  • An insect zoo and hands-on exhibits that teach children and adults about invertebrate biology, ecology and conservation
  • A classroom for school groups, community programs and special events
  • An outdoor pollinator garden and insect-themed playground
  • A gift shop and dining area

As a unique resource for our local community, schools, and visitors to Montana, the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium will provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the fascinating lives of insects and butterflies.  By taking advantage of the ever-increasing popularity of these exhibits and by providing a state-of-the-art facility, The Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium will be an educational and recreational resource for the local community as well as visitors to the Missoula area.
ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Innkeepers Brady and his wife Elaine (a school teacher) welcome you to stay at their gorgeous Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, Montana. Consider touring The Missoula Insectarium when you visit as guests.  Their quiet mountain setting makes the perfect relaxing getaway!

Written by Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging

Missoula Spring Theatre 2015

Innkeepers Brady and Elaine of Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast are thankful that their guests can experience incredible theatrical performances right here in Missoula, Montana.
THE RAINMAKER — March 20-22, 25-29, 2015

The Missoula Community Theatre is proud to present THE RAINMAKER. Richard Nash’s charming non-musical play about love, family, drought and forgiveness. Greg Johnson, Artistic Director for the Montana Repertory Theatre, is the guest director of this romantic comedy, set on a Midwestern farm during the Great Depression. THE RAINMAKER is a story about the Curry family and the chances we take when we release ourselves of fear, habit and routine.

A classic of the American theatre, The Rainmaker is a romantic drama is set on a midwestern farm during a paralyzing drought. Lizzie Curry, a young woman whose hopes and dreams are as barren as the fields, falls for Starbuck, a smooth-talking traveler selling the promise of rain. Lizzie finds herself falling for him and must decide; is he a con man, or does he hold the key to everything she desires?

This charming, non-musical play, is about love, desire and magic. It expresses these themes so resonantly that the play has been translated into forty languages since it premiered on Broadway in 1954.

 

pippin_square_tileBlue Mountain Bed and Breakfast has majestic mountain views.  Our guests enjoy the beauty, peace, and gentle sounds of nature.  However, being located in Missoula, we are a short drive to the University of Montana.  The Schools of Music and Theatre & Dance present their masterful Montana Theatre productions conveniently close at 32 Campus Drive in Missoula.

Pippin by Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Swartz is a Tony Award-winning musical about the search for meaning and the wish to lead an extraordinary life.  In a decidedly anachronistic King Charlemagne’s court, young prince Pippin must choose between contentment and glory and is guided and goaded on his quest by a troupe of traveling performers and their enigmatic, charismatic Leading Player. Performances are Tuesdays through Saturdays from March 17 to March 28 at 7:30 pm. Get your tickets today!

Wake up to freshly made gourmet breakfasts that are sure to please your palate! Missoula, Montana is full of exciting things to see and do, or if you prefer, you can relax right here at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast since there is plenty of onsite leisure and activities. Either way, get ready for the Blue Mountain experience of your dreams!

Written by Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging

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